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July 2012

Filling the Need

Pentecost Proper 12

From “Sitting on the Rainbow”

Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud

Scripture Reference: John 6:1-21

If it was a hot day and I was really, really thirsty, what would be the best thing for me: a chocolate milkshake or a glass of water? (Let children respond.) I would need water. After I had gotten my water, I might want a milkshake. But if I were very thirsty, plain water would be the best thing for me. What if I were starting school at a brand new place and I was lonely: then what would I need? Would I need great new clothes, or would I need to know all the answers on the test, or would I need one good friend? (Children can answer.) I would need a friend, wouldn’t I?

Do you think God knows what we need? (Discuss.) God knows everything about us. He knows how we feel, what we think, and what we need. We can trust God to take care of all our needs. Some things we may have to wait for. Some things that we think we need may be just things we want. God is good at sorting out those kinds of things.

One day, Jesus was near the Sea of Galilee and a huge crowd of people came to hear him teach. It got to be quite late—past suppertime—and everyone was getting hungry. There were thousands of people. One small boy offered to share his lunch; he had five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus took that small amount of food and started to pass it around. And then a miracle happened: the little boy’s lunch was enough to feed everyone in the crowd. It wasn’t fancy or rich food, but it was what the crowd needed.

Usually, God provides what we need in ordinary, everyday ways. But sometimes God surprises us with miracles that show his power and wisdom. (Here you may share your own story of God meeting a need in an ordinary or miraculous way. My example follows.) When I went to Trinity Lutheran College in Washington, my parents helped me pay some of the costs, and I earned some of the money by working at school. One spring, around Easter, I found that I did not have quite enough money to pay for that semester. I was about $80 short. I didn’t know how I could raise the money in time, so I prayed about it. The next morning, while I was working as a receptionist at the front desk, an elderly couple, whom I did not know well, dropped off an Easter basket containing a large egg. They told me to keep the egg. It was very heavy and when I opened it up, I found that it was full of quarters and dollars! I counted the money, and it added up to $80. God had provided just what I needed!

God won’t give us everything we want. We may sometimes want things that would not be good for us. But our Father in heaven knows what we need, and he will make sure that, somehow, we will receive those things that we truly need.

Prayer:  Thank you, Jesus, for giving us all the things we need. Help us trust you and not worry, because you will take care of us.

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